MLARS: Nearing Resolution?

Today was MNLARS day at the capitol, with different versions of a fix for the beleaguered licensing system  passing out of the House and Senate.

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School Trust Lands: Getting More Bang for the Buck

On Monday morning, the Permanent School Trust Funds Commission met to go over what has been done over the last few years.

Refocusing the Permanent School Trust Fund is probably the most important work the legislature has done in the last five years that you’ve never heard of.

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Dayton's water policies run afoul of farmers

In both the House and the Senate, committees heard proposals that stem from Governor Dayton's "clean water initiative."  First announced last summer, the Governor is looking to make it one of his signature achievements, but farmers are pushing back on some of his proposals. 

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Look for something to happen on MNLARS, the beleaguered system for licensing and registration of vehicles next week. The House and the Senate will probably pass bills and the Governor has his own ideas.

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Expensive Incompetance

Mark Dayton leaves Minnesota with unsustainable spending levels, higher levels of debt, poor transparency and accountability of public agencies and more kicking the can down the road of some of the state’s biggest structural economic and fiscal challenges.  But hey congratulations, taxpayer! You’ve paid such high taxes so that there is a budget surplus at least for the next few years!

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Update on Opioid Stewardship Bill HF 1140 (Baker)/SF 730 (Rosen)

Updated 3/16/2018

There have been some further developments on the "Opioid Stewardship" bill in the Minnesota House and Senate. The bills upon introduction both included taxes on opioid drugs.  Both the House and Senate versions were heard in Committee again and amended on Thursday.  On Friday, the Governor's supplemental budget proposal also included an Opioid Stewardship fund and spending. 

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Ways and Means bites into Tax Conformity and Pensions

The Ways and Means Committee took a first look at Tax Conformity and Pensions as well as heard the MNLARS fix bill this week.

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How will the legislature fund new initiatives on school safety?

Whenever there is a high-profile event, not even necessarily in Minnesota, there are ripples felt at the state capitol. The Parkland FL High School shooting was one of those kinds of events. High School Students are protesting at the capitol in large numbers, in at least one case bussed in by their school district.

The students are part of national effort to change gun laws, but Governor Dayton has already conceded that there is unlikely to be any movement on that front this session given the strength of support for the 2nd Amendment in the Republican controlled house and senate.

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The Legislative Budget Office is closer to being a reality

Last year the Legislature passed, and the governor signed into law a bill which created a Legislative Budget Office. It was maligned by some conservatives and notably got a negative rating from the Legislative Evaluation Assembly. We differed with those views and found the LBO concept very promising. This week's hearing in the State Government Finance committee was a reminder of why.

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Met Council Governance Reform Rides Again

Senators braved a blizzard on Tuesday, March 6 to hear a proposal similar to one that didn’t make the cut in last session’s Government reform bills.  The proposal, contained in SF 2809 (Pratt) was to create a new structure for the Met Council


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